A master draughtsman, artist Evan Macdonald had extraordinary facility as a painter, printmaker, and book illustrator. Born in Guelph, Ontario, in 1905, to one of the city’s founding Scottish families, Macdonald was a young contemporary of the Group of Seven and pursued his practice in Canada during the Great Depression. He joined the Second World War as an artist-soldier. After the war, Macdonald became a professional portraitist, fulfilling commissions from heads of government, industry, and academia. His paintings chronicling the destruction of Guelph’s historical buildings in the 1950s and 60s both celebrate industrial progress and lament the loss of nineteenth-century craftsmanship.
Evan Macdonald: A Painter’s Life is a richly illustrated chronicle of Macdonald’s life and work from the perspective of the artist’s daughter, Flora Macdonald Spencer, whose insightful essay creates a lasting image of a great Canadian artist. The book offers a unique perspective on the history of Guelph as well as commentary on one of the city’s founding families, their Scottish ancestry, and the establishment and evolution of twentieth-century social and cultural ideals.
Co-published with the Macdonald Stewart Art Centreclose this panel